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Alternator replacement


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This might help those of you attempting to replace the alternator with the engine in place. If I knew what I know now it wouldn’t have taken two hours! These are my personal experiences- I am not saying the only way but worked best for me.

There is a gap between the gearbox cables and the sump through which you must push the alternator. Firstly, pulling out the circlip on one of the cables on a bracket connected to the gearbox and then removing both cables from a rubber clip under the engine allows both cables to be pushed more out of the way.




Cutting the cable ties around the water hoses at the front of the engine also improves access.

Then the best way I found is to ease the alternator back end first with the two bolt lugs adjacent to the cables into the space created- there is just enough access. Once in the space rotate it and roughly position it against the engine before sliding in the two long bolts to hold it.

Getting the bottom nut and washer on is easy. The top nut and washer however is a real pain because there is not enough room to get to it with fingers between engine and engine bay side (and no access from above- tried that!). I tried many things- in the end a magnetic screwdriver holding the washer and gently placing it on the end of the bolt worked after several attempts , and then an open spanner, with insulating tape wrapped around the jaws to hold the nut offered up (rotating the bolt at the same time from the other end) also worked after many attempts.

Replacing the wires on the alternator, the cable ties on the water pipes and the clips for the gearbox cables are all easy.

Replacing the drive belt is a matter of pulling hard on the tensioner with your half inch drive socket wrench and somehow with you other hand getting the belt back on all the pulleys.

I had the car four feet off the ground- I don’t think you could do this if it was only on axle stands.

Hope this helps!

Bob G

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Having fun with this at the moment. I got the alternator out so I know it will go back in but boy is it a pain trying to get it back into the void. Once I have done that I suspect lining it up will also be tricky before that hard to reach top bolt.

At the moment the car is on axle stands so we will see if Bob is right or wrong for me, however I can see it would be much easier with more clearance.



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I'm in the process of changing the alternator on my '99 using jackstands. I hope I don't have to do this again, this is a really tricky process. The new alternator is installed and I'm struggling to get the serpentine belt back on. Any thoughts on how to make sure it stays on the tensioner pulley while trying to get some slack in the belt? I thought I had it buttoned up but the belt popped off when I started the engine. I'm not eager to get back under the car and wrestle with it again...

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On 10/04/2013 at 16:17, gixxer said:

Jack stands work fine.

Wait till you put in the oversize Cadillac Catera Bosch alternator and have to lift the engine up a bit too.


For those that do this upgrade the modifications to fit it are basically just opening the mounting points on the alternator itself the top bracket needs to be opened slightly (I believe it was from 22.4 to 22.7 it's not much) and the plastic back piece needs the cooling piece trimmed off but otherwise it fits with just some effort and possibly a little cursing.

I was able to install it by just loosening the motor mounts and slightly lifting the motor up.

Edited by Wanderor Cross
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